The 2010/11 season has seen 1,300 doping controls carried out in Europe's major club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. Although some results have yet to be received from the laboratories analysing the samples, there have been no positive tests so far. UEFA spends over €1.5m each season on doping controls in its competitions, and in the 2010/11 season has conducted tests in 46 of its 53 member associations.
UEFA Champions League
UEFA conducts both in and out-of-competition doping controls in the UEFA Champions League. A total of 740 samples were collected from players during the 2010/11 season, with almost 80% of the samples analysed for EPO – the substance deployed to increase endurance and physical strength. Some players were tested as often as five times during the course of the season.
UEFA's doping control programme is based on a thorough risk assessment and a detailed test distribution plan – the more important the phase of the competition, the more testing is carried out. Therefore doping controls were conducted at all UEFA Champions League play-off matches, and every team in the group stage was tested at least once. From the first knock-out round onwards, there were doping controls at every match. The eight quarter-finalists were all tested in at least 60% of all their matches in the competition, while the two finalists, FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC, underwent doping controls in almost 70% of all their matches. Nineteen first team players from the two finalists were tested at least three times during the season.
About 60% of the doping controls in the UEFA Champions League were conducted out-of-competition at clubs' training grounds. Every sample collected was analysed for EPO. The two finalists were both tested four times out-of-competition over the course of the season.
UEFA Europa League
560 samples were collected from players in the UEFA Europa League in the 2010/11 season. As in the UEFA Champions League, doping controls in the UEFA Europa League are planned according to a careful risk assessment. Every team in the play-offs was tested, and from then on there were doping controls at over 50% of all matches. All the 48 teams in the group stage were tested at least once, and there were doping controls at every match from the round of 16 onwards. The eight quarter-finalists were all tested in at least 58% of their matches in the competition, while the two finalists, FC Porto and SC Braga, underwent doping controls in almost 70% of their matches.
In addition, over 450 players have been tested by UEFA in other competitions during the 2010/11 season, and the doping controls are continuing at the youth tournaments this summer. The final figures for the total number of doping controls carried out and the number of positive cases will be published in September on UEFA.com.
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